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He's a real trooper

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Indiana State Trooper Mike Ooley gets a picture of Honorary Henry County Deputy Brantley Taber wearing his blue campaign hat Tuesday. Brantley also received a pair of handcuffs while being Deputy For A Day and got to hit the siren on an Indiana State Police motorcycle.
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Honorary Henry County Deputy Brantley Taber, pictured in the foreground, escorts “suspect”Ben Wrightacrossa field after a six-car police pursuit.Wright is a Henry County Sheriff’s Department Reserve Deputy and is pictured wearing a bite suit.Sgt. Derek Hallassisted Brantley in the “arrest.”
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Tri Elementary kindergartner Brantley Taber raises his right hand Tuesday andswears in as an honorary deputy beforeHenry County Sheriff Ric McCorkle (left). Brantley’s mom, Kira Rayburn (right), then pinned a badge on her boy in front of his fellow law enforcement officers.
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The only time Brantley Taber stopped smiling Tuesday was when he put on his “serious cop face.”

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

A line of vehicles from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department pursued an SUV around the backside of Tri schools Tuesday with their lights and sirens going.

Tri kindergartner Brantley Taber was leading the pursuit.

After the suspicious SUV finally came to a stop, the “suspect,” played by Henry County Sheriff’s Department Reserve Deputy Ben Wright, took off running. Henry County K-9 Drogo took Wright down and Honorary Deputy Brantley slapped the handcuffs on him.

“Stop resisting!” Brantley yelled. “You’re under arrest!”

“Am I going to jail?” Wright asked from the ground.

“Yep,” Brantley said with a big smile as he escorted Wright back to his truck.

Brantley has Rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of cancer that develops in the skeletal muscles. He was diagnosed just before his fourth birthday. Two years later, Brantley continues his battle.

Kira Rayburn, Brantley’s mother, said he is on a new medicine trial that is designed to specifically target the genes that are causing his cancer.

“He’s been so strong,” Kira said.

The 5-year-old was definitely all smiles Tuesday when Henry County Sheriff Ric McCorkle swore him in as the county’s newest – and youngest – police officer.

Kira got to pin a badge on her son that reads “B. Taber, Honorary Deputy, Henry County.”

Kira’s parents, Mark and Lori Anderson, were at Brantley’s swearing in, as was his Mamaw Susan Clements.

“It was awesome,” Lori said. “He’s quite the trooper.”

Susan called Brantley a trooper, too.

“I’m just overwhelmed,” she said. “I think it’s wonderful.”

The entire Tri Elementary student body headed to the gym first thing Tuesday morning to be a part of a special day for Brantley.

The young Titans were greeted by a long line of law enforcement officers, including members of the New Castle Police Department, the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, local K-9 officers and SWAT members, Indiana State Police, police from Cumberland, Markleville, Greenfield, Rushville and Rush County and conservation officers from the Department of Natural Resources.

Henry County Deputy Derek Bertrand organized the Deputy For A Day event for Brantley.

The Tri students jumped up and gave officers high-fives as they walked into the gym and gave a robust round of applause for the men and women in uniform.

After Brantley swore in, his class got to go about back of the school and see HCSD equipment up close and personal. Local law enforcement officers also seemed excited to see the Indiana State Police equipment in person.

ISP even let Deputy Brantley climb up in their SWAT vehicle and helicopter.

Brantley didn’t hesitate to show off his shiny new badge.

One of his classmates asked, “Are you a cop?”

“Yes,” Honorary Deputy Brantley Taber said with a smile and a nod.